Administrative Center Staff Reductions and Reorganization

Administrative Center Staff Reductions and Reorganization

December 8, 2023

Dear Northshore staff: 

Last May, I shared information about a phased reorganization of the Administrative Center to address necessary budget reductions, improve alignment to the district’s strategic plan goals, and provide better support for schools, families, and students. Phase One included the reduction and combination of cabinet-level positions, alignment of family engagement supports and services, and initial restructuring of the Human Resources Department. 

Today I am announcing Phase Two of the reorganization, including the elimination of additional Administrative Center positions in order to address next year’s $26 million shortfall. These changes will take effect on July 1, 2024. 

I first want to acknowledge how difficult this news will be for many staff, especially, the individuals affected. The impacted individuals are valued colleagues who have led exemplary work on behalf of our students. I am deeply saddened and frustrated that the state’s continued underfunding of public education has led to our current situation. I ask that we all exhibit compassion and care as our Administrative Center colleagues navigate this challenging news. 

As I have shared before, I am deeply committed to transparency as we work to address our budget shortfall. Last year, most of the position reductions were made in our Operations Departments. This year, most central administrative reductions will be made across our Teaching and Learning Departments. Below you will find the Northshore Administrative Center positions that will be eliminated as of July 1, 2024:

  • 1.0 FTE, Assistant Director of Accelerated Models and Programs
  • 1.0 FTE, Assistant Director of Curriculum and Instruction 
  • 1.0 FTE, Assistant Director of Student Services 
  • 1.0 FTE, Chief Leadership and Strategy Officer
  • 1.0 FTE, Director of Just Education 
  • 0.5 FTE, District Principal on Special Assignment 
  • 1.0 FTE, Director of Racial and Educational Justice
  • 1.0 FTE, Director of Special Education

While the above-mentioned Administrative Center positions will be eliminated, the ongoing work associated with each of these positions must be redistributed and balanced across fewer roles. For that reason, it is also necessary to reorganize the work of the Teaching and Learning Division to support continuity of services for our students, families and staff, retain critical knowledge, and maintain our ability to comply with state and federal laws, labor contracts, and district policies. 

Below is a description of the organizational shifts. 

Teaching and Learning Reorganization Details

I have asked Dr. Obadiah Dunham, who has been serving as the supervisor for Human Resources and Special Education, to lead the revised Teaching and Learning Division. As the Chief Academic Officer, he will oversee schools, special education, student services, and teaching and learning in addition to absorbing aspects of Dr. Tracy Meloy’s current workload. 

Three of our current Regional Assistant Superintendents will become Executive Directors of Schools. Their primary area of responsibility will be supporting the building administration, staff, students, and families in our schools. All of our high schools and high school programming will be supported by one executive director.  Our twenty elementary and six middle schools will be grouped in general feeder patterns. Executive Directors of Schools are as follows: 

  • Heather Miller: All high schools, NLO, ATI/ATP and Athletics
  • Melissa Riley: All East and North Elementary and Middle Schools
  • David Wellington: All South and West Elementary and Middle Schools

Rick Ferrell, the current Director of Student Services will now report directly to Dr. Dunham and the Teaching and Learning Division. Doreen Milburn, the current Executive Director of Special Education and Early Learning will continue to report to Dr. Dunham. 

Starting on July 1, Dr. Amity Butler will be serving as the Executive Director of Teaching and Learning and will also report to Dr. Dunham. Dr. Butler will oversee teacher induction, highly capable programming, curriculum and assessment, professional development, instructional technology, MTSS, categorical programming, evaluation and research, and career and college readiness. Shelby Reynolds, the Assistant Director of Instructional Technology will be joining the Teaching and Learning Department, merging instruction and the work of our Technology Department. A 0.5 FTE Assistant Director (or 0.5 additional administrative support) will also be reassigned to this Department, for a limited period of time, to support the transition. 

While the new Teaching and Learning Division structure is finalized, there are still a number of details to work through. More information will be shared over the coming weeks, including any additional staff shifts to support the new organizational structure. 

Human Resources Staffing Adjustment

With Dr. Dunham moving into a new role on July 1, additional support will be required in Human Resources to ensure compliance with labor contracts and strong support of our staff. Human Resources will continue to report to Deputy Superintendent Berge. A 1.0 FTE Assistant Director position will be hired. 

The ways in which this budget reduction has and will continue to affect our staff weighs heavily on me. I truly wish there were other options available to us, but the easy options have been exhausted. You and our community’s children deserve better. I promise to keep advocating for public education, particularly with our elected officials. In support of this commitment, this fall, along with members of our School Board, I met with our legislators to explain our budget crisis in person. I will be joining Northshore’s PTSA Council and our School Board Directors for Focus Day on Monday, January 15, 2024, in Olympia, to advocate for our students and public education, and on January 29 our Board Directors will be going to Olympia for WSSDA’s Legislative Conference.  

Additionally, Northshore’s Board of Directors and NSEA recently joined with other districts in our region to encourage the state to take immediate action as many neighboring districts are also facing significant budget reductions. You can read the letter to our state representatives here and on the School Board webpage.  

If you have any questions regarding the July 1 department reorganizations and or position elimination decisions you may email me directly, superintendent@nsd.org or Deputy Superintendent Berge, jberge@nsd.org.

In partnership, 

Michael F. Tolley
Superintendent 

 

 

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